Alameda

Welcome to this week’s edition of The Broad Brush, your 60-second week in review. Here are your Alameda headlines for the week.

Harbor Bay ferry riders who are struggling to find someplace to park may soon have new legal, on-street options. But some homeowners who live near the ferry terminal say they want better parking enforcement, not relaxed restrictions.

Photo courtesy of Shift Local.

If you’ve been wanting to become a Bay Area coffee connoisseur, Indie Coffee Passport East Bay can get you on your way, and a few Alameda cafes – Beanery, Wescafe and Beulah’s Bean Truck – are among the 22 cafes participating.

For the past several months, the development and design consortium Alameda Point Partners has been working to refine its plan for Site A, a 68-acre waterfront plot that is proposed to one day hold 600,000 square feet of commercial uses, 15 acres of new parks – and 800 new homes.

The development framework okayed by city leaders in 2014 envisioned the site as a catalyst for revitalization of the Point, a transit-hubbed beacon alerting industry that the Point was open for business. But some Island voters apparently saw something different: A future traffic nightmare clogging Alameda’s bridges and tubes.

Development of Site A (or any portion of Alameda Point) can’t proceed unless four of the council’s five members agree to move forward. So if two council members have already said they oppose building homes at Alameda Point, what are the chances that the development will move forward?

Alamedans who drive – and park – in Alameda will soon be free to leave their bags of change at home.

The city is set to replace all 822 of its analog parking meters with digital meters that accept both change and credit cards. The new meters could be in place by the end of June.

Earlier this month, the City Council okayed a $567,000 contract with IPS Group, Inc. to purchase the meters and for service. The meters will cost $435 apiece to purchase and another $121 per meter per year to service – the cost of wireless service, credit card transaction fees and cloud access.

The Encinal Jets – and the Junior Jets – are about to become one big, happy family.

Tonight, the school board will consider whether to combine Encinal High School and the Junior Jets middle school program on the Encinal campus into a single school. If the board grants its okay, the new school will be called Encinal Junior/Senior High School.

Harbor Bay ferry riders who are struggling to find someplace to park may soon have new legal, on-street options. But some homeowners who live near the ferry terminal say they want better parking enforcement, not relaxed restrictions.

The Transportation Commission is set to consider relaxing parking restrictions temporarily on a section of Adelphian Way and permanently on a portion of Harbor Bay Parkway, opening dozens of spots for ferry riders. The commission is slated to take up the matter on Wednesday night.

Ferry riders are supporting the parking proposals, saying they are having a hard time finding legal parking ahead of their morning ferry commute.

Vigilante James Farwell, consul Frederik O’Hara Taaffe, steamboat captain Robert R. Thompson and their families once lived on an estate that today’s Alamedans know as Lincoln Park.

Over the past several months I’ve posted pieces on the phenomenon of rising rents to this blog, in an effort to explain what’s happening with the local rental market, why, and what is (or isn’t) being done to address those issues. (I’ve posted additional stories on rising rents and declining availability outside of the blog; more on those in the paragraphs that follow.)

The story is a big one for Alameda, with potentially broad implications for the face of our community: More than half of the Island’s residents are renters, according to 2010 Census data.

Image courtesy of the City of Alameda.

Ferry boats carrying passengers across San Francisco Bay will be coming to Alameda for fuel and maintenance someday soon, the City Council decided Tuesday night.

Council members approved a lease for the long-planned facility and an agreement charging the Water Emergency Transportation Authority with building a new resting area for harbor seals who in habit a portion of the bay they seek to use despite two no votes by Mayor Trish Herrera Spencer, who said the public did not have a chance to comment on the plan since it was presented to the city more than four years ago.

On Tuesday night, the City Council talked about an Alameda Point lease for the Water Emergency Transportation Authority, rents commission rules and more. Here's the tweet by tweet.